Tonight is the first Verzuz battle.
Everything before this evening’s edition of the outrageously successful Verzuz series was extremely entertaining, but they weren’t necessarily battles (unless you count Teddy Riley’s knockdown dragout with his sound system). Snoop’s dogs didn’t even get at DMX. Monica barely side-eyed Brandy and I’m willing to bet that either Gladys Knight or Patti LaBelle showed up to their musical usher board meeting with a pound cake.
But at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, two of America’s foremost trapologists will engage in the greatest battle since Lil’ David the Sheep God murked Goliath, much to the dismay of Big G’s Philly crew (The Philistines didn’t know D was gonna pull out the slingshotty). Yes, Jeezy vs. Gucci Mane promises to be the Verzuz battle we’ve been waiting for.
Tonight, we get actual beef.
Over their 15 years in the rap game, the relationship between Mr. Mane and the artist formerly known as Young has devolved from a collaborative friendship to a rap feud and, ultimately, into actual dead bodies.
To prepare our readers for tonight’s festivities, we wanted to answer all the questions about this anxiously-awaited showdown.
Who is Gucci Mane?
Radric Delantic Davis is a 40-year-old recording artist who was born in Bessemer, Ala., a perennial favorite for one of the most dangerous cities in America. Gucci moved to Atlanta at 9, where he turned his life around after being detained for unlicensed pharmaceutical sales. Since grabbing the public’s attention by collaborating with another up-and-coming young rapper, Jay Wayne Jenkins, Gucci has released 13 studio albums and over 75 mixtapes.
Who is Jeezy?
Jay Wayne Jenkins is a 43-year-old recording artist who was born in Columbia, S.C. Like Gucci, Jeezy relocated to Atlanta at a young age and also embraced trap music after delving into the underground medicinal industry, eventually releasing nine studio albums and 18 mixtapes.
Who is more successful?
It depends on who you ask. Jeezy has undoubtedly had more commercial success, but Gucci Mane releases an album every 13 days.
Weren’t they friends?
Yes. Their initial success came from their collaboration on Gucci Mane’s “Black Tee.”
So what happened?
Well, the two teamed up for another hit song, “So Icy.” Everyone loved the song, but there was a dispute over which artist owned the song. Since Gucci’s debut album came out a month earlier than Jeezy’s first studio album, Gucci included it on his release.
Jeezy responded by recording “Stay Strapped,” which contained the lines:
Niggas talkin’ all tough, steady hidin’ and shit
Even his own mama know, Radric Davis a bitch!
To be honest nigga, there’s nothin’ Gucci about chu
You pussy, nigga everythin’s coochie about chu
The last three minutes of the song is basically Jeezy going on an extended rant, including offering a $10,000 bounty for Gucci Mane’s “Icy” necklace. Gucci responded by calling Jeezy a “fake” on “Round 1"
And so it began.
Oh, so it’s a rap beef?
Nah, bruh. a few weeks later, one of Jeezy’s homeboys, Henry Lee Clark III, allegedly broke in Gucci Mane’s home and was killed. Mane turned himself in to authorities but eventually beat the case when prosecutors dropped the charges because of a lack of evidence.
After doing time for a separate assault charge, Gucci teamed up with frequent Jeezy collaborator DJ Drama and Jeezy’s former manager, Coach K, to release The State vs. Radric Davis, Gucci’s most successful album.
Aside from the dead guy, it still sounds like a rap beef.
Yeah, but aside from the dead guy, Pontius Pilate would be a hero.
Anyway, after more disses, the two called a truce and reportedly made a few songs together. Then their homies got into a fight at a clothing store, then there was more beef.
They weren’t shy about their disdain for each other but Jeezy started wearing suits, Gucci got married and both started acting like adults. After initially agreeing to a battle with T.I., Jeezy decided to go head-to-head with his nemesis. Since they agreed, neither has indicated that the beef is dead, but they haven’t indicated that it’s not dead either.
So what happens tonight?
Look, however you feel about the beef, these two dudes are undeniable legends in the trap music genre. Tonight, every dude from below the Mason-Dixon line will be watching this face-off.
It’s like Maze battling Earth Wind & Fire. This is Atlanta’s Tupac against Atlanta’s Biggie. This is the male version of Shirley vs. Barbara. This is the South’s version of Nas vs. Jay-Z. And, the best part about it is, whatever happens...
At least niggas from Atlanta won’t have to watch their team blow a fourth-quarter lead.